PDA

View Full Version : Sharpening Serrated Edges



Dave Martell
12-21-2011, 02:18 PM
OK, even though most of you would never admit to it I know that you've got a serrated knife or two hanging around the house. I'm also quite sure that these knives are likely dull (or duller than they were when new) and could use a little edge refreshing. Chances are that the points are starting to round and the edges are dull or even bent over to the reverse side. Well, if you have a knife like this, it's your lucky day. http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

Does this look familiar?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010038labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010038labeled.jpg)«


I've been asked a lot about how to sharpen serrated knives so I thought I'd throw together a little information on how someone can easily do so at home with items easily found at their local Home Depot.


The tools of choice are an assortment of wooden dowels and cloth backed sandpaper. Simple enough? I hope so. http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010006labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010006labeled.jpg)«

I prefer cloth backed sandpaper because it's less likely to tear if caught slightly off angle. I like to use "medium" grit as it cuts fast, but if you want a finer finish, you could use "fine" grit instead.

I purchased 36" lengths of all the dowels shown as well as a package of medium grit emery cloth for less than $10 at Home Depot. I think it was actually less than eight but I lost the reciept so there.

The round dowels are used for round serrations and the square dowels are used for v-shaped serrations.


You will want to start off by mounting the knife in a vise. If you don't have a vise don't worry as you can do this while holding the knife in one hand. It's just easier to do with the use of a vise.

Then select the appropriate sized wooden dowel to use. The right size dowel will fit into the gulley of the serration, will touch the edge bevel, and will not rock or wobble side to side. The 1/2" dowel is the one that is most commonly used for sharpening the serrations on Wusthoff and similar level knives.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010049labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010049labeled.jpg)«


Wrap a strip of emery cloth around the pre-selected dowel so that it only wraps around 3/4 of the dowel's circumference.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010056labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010056labeled.jpg)«

The sandpaper will be held in place by finger pressure. It should look like this...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010058labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010058labeled.jpg)«


Then, I suggest to cover the edge bevels with magic marker. This will help to ensure that you are sharpening at the correct angle as the marker will be removed where the abrasive hits the bevel.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010055labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010055labeled.jpg)«


Make sure that you sharpen at the same bevel angle that was set by the factory. Why? Because it looks better. http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010142labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010142labeled.jpg)«


Sharpen only enough to make 1/2 of the rounded tip pointed on both sides of the gulley. The point will become full when you sharpen the next gulley over. You want to only do just enough to raise the tiniest burr (on the reverse) and to just start to remove the rounded tips on both sides of the gulley you are sharpening.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010086labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010086labeled.jpg)«

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010011labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010011labeled.jpg)«


When sharpening try to hold the angle of the dowel constant (the same) for each gulley you sharpen as you did for the others. It's not imperitive to do so but the result will be much more appealing to the eye. http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif


The only thing left at this point will be to remove the burr.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010137labeled.jpg
Full size image: »http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/dmart/Serrated Knife Sharpening/P1010137labeled.jpg)«

I usually run the knife across a buffing wheel to remove the burr but you can run the knife lightly through a peice of soft wood followed by using a wadded up peice of paper towel to wipe off any residual cling-ons that just won't let go.


So that's it. A grand total of (less than) $10 and maybe 1/2 hr (tops) and your knife is better than new. Now you have no excuses for still having those dull serrated knives lying around do you?


Happy Sharpening folks!! http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

JohnnyChance
12-21-2011, 02:41 PM
Awesome write up Dave. Thanks.


PS.....nice Edge Pro. :D :razz:

El Pescador
12-21-2011, 03:00 PM
nice dave!

Eamon Burke
12-21-2011, 03:15 PM
Next up: how to sharpen the MIRACLE Blade III!!!

TB_London
12-21-2011, 03:37 PM
Nice tutorial, also reassuring that how I've been doing mine is the proper way and slightly disappointing there wasn't some genius shortcut I hadn't thought of :)

kalaeb
12-21-2011, 03:55 PM
Well done! Thank you Mr. Martell

bieniek
12-21-2011, 04:03 PM
Im impressed :) Very nice, I would never get how easy it could be, instead i would use side of my stone and just grate square serrations :D

Thanks a lot

markk
12-21-2011, 04:08 PM
very nice tutorial, thank you

Dave Martell
12-21-2011, 04:28 PM
I did this years ago over on KF and thought that maybe some here could use it too.

Dave Martell
12-21-2011, 04:30 PM
PS.....nice Edge Pro. :D :razz:


Busted - yup I had one. :D

Today I use a 6" specially made CBN wheel that I designed instead but it's all the same principle.

99Limited
12-21-2011, 04:55 PM
And all this time I thought you sharpened a serrated blade by throwing it in the trash and buying a new knife.

Andrew H
12-21-2011, 05:25 PM
And all this time I thought you sharpened a serrated blade by throwing it in the trash and buying a new knife.

That method works really well, faster also.

Dave Martell
12-21-2011, 08:36 PM
Another much easier method to sharpen serrations is to just use the corner or a stone. Slow roll the serrations over the corner being careful to round over the tips as little as possible. This isn't the best way to go for preservation of the factory tips and pattern but it gets the job done well. This does work fantastic for the reversed scallop bread knives made by MAC & Shun, these knives don't have tips.

youkinorn
12-21-2011, 11:36 PM
Any way you could illustrate that just to make the process a little more clear, by chance? Been wanting to touch up my mac bread knife some.

ajhuff
12-21-2011, 11:48 PM
Basically like sharpening a chainsaw, no?

-AJ

Dave Martell
12-21-2011, 11:57 PM
Any way you could illustrate that just to make the process a little more clear, by chance? Been wanting to touch up my mac bread knife some.


I don;t have the time to do this right now but maybe sometime in the future. Sorry

Dave Martell
12-21-2011, 11:57 PM
Basically like sharpening a chainsaw, no?

-AJ


Yup

geezr
12-22-2011, 04:47 PM
Another much easier method to sharpen serrations is to just use the corner or a stone. Slow roll the serrations over the corner being careful to round over the tips as little as possible. This isn't the best way to go for preservation of the factory tips and pattern but it gets the job done well. This does work fantastic for the reversed scallop bread knives made by MAC & Shun, these knives don't have tips.

:thankyou: Mac bread knife usre :thankyou:

obtuse
12-22-2011, 05:39 PM
thanks!

MoneyMogul
01-16-2012, 01:31 PM
I have a knife that has very narrow v type serrations. A square rod will not fit all the way down. Do you know how I could sharpen this knife?

tk59
01-16-2012, 02:23 PM
I must have missed this while I was away. Thanks, Dave!

ThEoRy
01-16-2012, 03:18 PM
I have a knife that has very narrow v type serrations. A square rod will not fit all the way down. Do you know how I could sharpen this knife?

I would try using a triangular shaped rod.

SpikeC
01-16-2012, 03:41 PM
Diamond needle files with water and a light touch should get you there.

MoneyMogul
01-25-2012, 04:55 PM
I would try using a triangular shaped rod.

Thanks, I was so excited about being able to do it myself that I panicked and didn't think of that.

quantumcloud509
03-02-2012, 03:26 AM
I heart my sharpened Wusthof 8" serrated and use it every day to put all bread to shame. Wish I could post pics from my phone but it also pwned a good chunk of my middle finger. Anyone have a scalloped Tojiro or similar theyd like to not see anymore?

Mrmnms
11-14-2012, 12:29 AM
Sharing information like this is why I joined this forum. Got a couple knives just waiting to try, and lots of folks hoping I'll take care of theirs.

Korin_Mari
11-14-2012, 03:25 PM
OOOO! :D This made me smile. Such determination to sharpen the serrated edges. I'm pretty sure I would have gone mad after a few ends.

Great write up!

Doug8066
12-18-2012, 03:45 PM
I know this is probably some kind of heresy, but :-
I sharpen my [few] serrated knives by ignoring the serrations and just sharpen like any other knife.
Of course this does have the ulitimate effect that the serrations eventually disappear. However the knives still seem to sharpen up well in this process.

SpikeC
12-18-2012, 09:18 PM
Sounds good to me! In the future just take a Dremel to it!

C. Wallace
02-04-2013, 03:33 AM
Wow! What a great tutorial. I really impressed. Thanks for share.

l r harner
02-04-2013, 08:56 AM
DMT makes a tapered rod that folds into butterfly type handles that i use on my pocket knives that have "teeth" but i dont know what grits they come in and im not sure how well they work on kitchen knives

zitangy
02-04-2013, 10:06 AM
DMT makes a tapered rod that folds into butterfly type handles that i use on my pocket knives that have "teeth" but i dont know what grits they come in and im not sure how well they work on kitchen knives

+1. That rod is tapered and thus wld be useful for quite a few diff sizes of serrated edges.

http://www.dmtsharp.com/sharpeners/folding-models/diafold-serrated/

IF it is a sharp V serration, I think a jewelers file wld be handy

Hv fun

D

stopbarking
05-02-2013, 03:11 AM
The soft wood trick really takes out the burr and leaves an edge? I understand the principle but this goes against everything I have ever learned...haha. Would a felt deburring block work just as well or should I do the wood a few passes first? Would a flat pass on a 500 stone remove it or would it just flip it back over? I use my Tojiro so much the rounded tips are folded over. It's time I do something about my knife but I'm a little scared.

mkmk
05-02-2013, 12:55 PM
My system is even more low tech: a piece of 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper wrapped around a sharpie, followed by a flat pass over a strop to deburr. For finer serrations, a Bic stic or a round pencil might be better. Lots of small round sticks in my desk drawer.

;- )

sharp knfing
07-15-2013, 02:39 PM
Edge leading or trailing?

Douglas

zitangy
07-15-2013, 02:47 PM
Edge leading or trailing?

Douglas

Hmnn.. I prefer to let the Knife be stationary adn move the file/ rod. I wld either secure it on a vice or place it flat on a glass top.

I always prefer to cut the burr/ fold as opposed to unfolding it.

Rgds
d

sharp knfing
07-15-2013, 07:17 PM
I'm with you on that.
Was wondering if it's better to draw the dowel/sandpaper into or away from the edge.

Douglas

Dave Martell
07-15-2013, 11:28 PM
I'm with you on that.
Was wondering if it's better to draw the dowel/sandpaper into or away from the edge.

Douglas


I doubt that it matters from the perspective of edge quality but it's a lot easier to go away from the edge since you can use the serration gully as an angle guide. I actually go back and forth in both directions so...

GConcept999
07-16-2013, 12:27 AM
Anyone use a Mac/Fiskars Rollsharp on serrated edge? Endorsed by Mac to be used on their brands of serrated edges, 15 degrees both sides, takes about 5 seconds to sharpen. Cost $9.95 on Amazon.

And anyone here use the method shown by Ken Schwartz on a stone: http://youtu.be/wNOSpViFl0?t=17m (http://youtu.be/wNbOSpViFl0?t=17m31s)

Does anyone know if these methods work on pointy tipped serrated bread knives rather than the wavy scalloped ones? I don't have a bread knife, but am looking into getting one for the occasional bread cutting, thinking of a Forschner bread knife. May look into a Mac or Tojiro bread knife in the future if I can save enough and justify with a lot of bread cutting.

Vangelis
10-14-2013, 08:51 AM
Instead of an emeny cloth, can we use wet/dry sand paper ???

Dave Martell
10-14-2013, 11:13 AM
Instead of an emeny cloth, can we use wet/dry sand paper ???

Yes

Tack
03-19-2014, 01:12 PM
Hello, I'm new so don't yell at me.:(
What about using one of those 3M foam sanding blocks? Seems it would conform to the shape of the serrations.

Dave Martell
03-19-2014, 01:23 PM
Hello, I'm new so don't yell at me.:(
What about using one of those 3M foam sanding blocks? Seems it would conform to the shape of the serrations.


You never know until you try and I haven't so I wouldn't rule it out.

zitangy
03-19-2014, 01:56 PM
Hello, I'm new so don't yell at me.:(
What about using one of those 3M foam sanding blocks? Seems it would conform to the shape of the serrations.

If i remember correctly, those blocks are right angled and will break off quite easily.You are right.. as long as it is will abrade and conform to the shape and size of the serrations that wld achieve the objective. Too big and it may round and reduce the height ridges and also round them off ( high points between the hollows). I believe that it should be pointy

good luck
D

cookinstuff
03-19-2014, 02:36 PM
I have the 3m sanding block and I can't imagine it helping you sharpen your breadknife, it's funny I just got myself a gude and have been thinking about it myself, so I am about to order the dmt diafold serrated knife sharpeners, they look like exactly what you would need for a knife with a traditional serration instead of the scallop. The coarse is something around 350 or 330 grit, the fine is 600, the extra fine is 1200, could probably get away with just having the fine one.

Tack
03-19-2014, 06:02 PM
If i remember correctly, those blocks are right angled and will break off quite easily.You are right.. as long as it is will abrade and conform to the shape and size of the serrations that wld achieve the objective. Too big and it may round and reduce the height ridges and also round them off ( high points between the hollows). I believe that it should be pointy

good luck
D
I'm not talking about using the edge, just drawing the knife across the flat.

Dave Martell
03-19-2014, 09:49 PM
I'm not talking about using the edge, just drawing the knife across the flat.

I thought you were referring to something round to use on each serration. I'd say that a flat spongy block problem won;t do much if anything positive here.

Dave Martell
03-19-2014, 09:52 PM
I have the 3m sanding block and I can't imagine it helping you sharpen your breadknife, it's funny I just got myself a gude and have been thinking about it myself, so I am about to order the dmt diafold serrated knife sharpeners, they look like exactly what you would need for a knife with a traditional serration instead of the scallop. The coarse is something around 350 or 330 grit, the fine is 600, the extra fine is 1200, could probably get away with just having the fine one.


The Diafold thingies are not wide enough in diameter for anything but the tiny serrations found on folders and even then they don't work well because they're tapered which means a constantly changing diameter being used. I have them and do use them for some really small serration patterns but no they won't work at all for standard bread knives.

rodneyat
03-20-2014, 01:39 PM
How do you deal with reverse serration/scalloped knives like the Mac bread knife and such?

Dave Martell
03-20-2014, 11:44 PM
How do you deal with reverse serration/scalloped knives like the Mac bread knife and such?


I use the (bottom) corner/edge of a coarse stone for the bevel grinding.